STRAINS OF POST-SOVIET STATE-BUILDING IN RUSSIA The collapse of the Soviet Union marked a new stage in the development of the Russian Federation, during which both the Centre and the regions have been searching for answers to pressing questions in order to shape the future of Russia as a single multinational state. These have concerned the foundations upon which Russia’s renewed statehood would be built and whether and by what means new forms and principles of co-existence between numerous ethno-linguistic groups could be developed. Many republics within the Russian Federation have sought to abandon their quasi-autonomous status by adopting declarations of sovereignty and new constitutions, and redefining themselves as sovereign nation-states. These steps were engendered by a natural desire to overcome the imperial legacy of the Soviet period.